Nintendo Wii U, the final days before launch

With the launch of Nintendo's latest console just a few scant days away (we're almost in the "count the days on your fingers" territory!), Nintendo is finally ready to start sharing some key, heretofore unknown details about the Wii U. How will the elusive Nintendo Network help solve the company's years-long struggle with network services? How do you transfer your data from a Wii to the Wii U? What does Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata look like wearing Mario-style gloves? You'll find answers to these questions and more in this pre-launch Wii U StoryStream.

Testing the Wii U's new online features, from Miiverse to the eShop

After updating the system, users can assign a Nintendo Network ID to their individual Mii. Multiple Miis can be assigned to a console, with each Mii getting its own Nintendo Network ID. Each ID has its own friends list and purchasing data associated with it. There is, however, no "achievements" system associated with the Network ID, which means system-wide achievements are not currently supported.

Once the Nintendo Network ID is linked with their Mii, users can access the eShop.

The eShop allows users to download full retail games, like New Super Mario Bros. U and Assassin's Creed 3, as...

Wii U will have a Ubisoft Uplay app

Earlier this month, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the company plans to support the Wii U's launch with both online sales of its games and Uplay support. But he declined to detail how that experience would work.

According to the instruction manual for Ubisoft's ZombiU, Uplay will grant players exclusive rewards, help them if they get stuck in a game and deliver updated news. Players can access Ubisoft's Uplay network either through the website, or through a Uplay app that will be made available on Nintendo's eShop.

"You can also access Uplay by downloading the Uplay Application via...

Continue reading…

The Wii U starts out as an offline machine, what you can do before the patch

The Wii U will be an offline machine when it leaves stores the day Nintendo's new console goes on sale.

All Wii U consoles will require downloading a patch to add support for a laundry list of online, gaming and entertainment services. That patch is about 5 gigs. According to early reports, including our own two tests, the patch takes from 45 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes to download and maybe ten minutes to install. Of course the time will vary depending on any number of variables, including connection speeds and the number of people try to download the patch.

The services...

Nintendo TVii confirmed for December

The Nintendo TVii will launch this December, Nintendo confirmed today.

Users can expect access to the Wii U system's video on demand service sooner, however: It will become available "in the coming weeks," says Nintendo. Video on demand will allow users to access shows using Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix that can otherwise be accessed using TVii.

In addition, downloadable content for "select games," including new levels or maps, will become available starting December following a system update.

"In December, Nintendo will activate this unique application that will transform...

Continue reading…

The surprising (mundane) tech behind the Wii U's magical GamePad

The most magical element of Nintendo's new Wii U console is powered by a relatively mundane piece of technology.

Second-screen gaming, the ability to view full maps, menus or even play an entire game on the 6-inch screen built into the WIi U's GamePad, is made possible by a special form of Wi-Fi.

The technology, co-developed by Nintendo and wireless and broadband communications giant Broadcom, marries run-of-the-mill Wi-Fi with a powerful bit of proprietary software to create a two-way stream of low-latency, high-definition video and controls between the Wii U and its innovative GamePad.

...

GameStop reports high demand for Wii U consoles, games

GameStop is "bullish" on the upcoming Wii U launch, with high demand for both hardware and software exhibited by strong pre-order numbers, said GameStop executives on an investor call today for the retail giant's third-quarter financial report.

The company is now reporting that "nearly 500,000" people have joined its wait list for Wii U consoles. GameStop set up the wait list in late September exclusively for PowerUp Rewards members, and as of mid-October, more than 250,000 customers had joined the list. GameStop president Tony Bartel noted, "We have limited knowledge of [Wii U] supply,...

Continue reading…

Mighty Switch Force: Inside WayForward's under-the-radar Wii U launch game

WayForward Technologies is not what many would define as an "indie" development studio. The dozens of games on the company's resume concern themselves with neither the injustice of American foreign policy nor the notion of longing in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Rather, they include such blips on the cultural radar as Despicable Me The Game: Minion Mayhem (DS, 2010), The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris (GBA, 2002) and WWF Betrayal (GBC, 2001). They are predominantly licensed properties — the company positioned itself as a "developer for hire" in 1997 — and the vast majority of...

Continue reading…

Nintendo exec responds to Wii U limited holiday availability

Wii U supplies have been fairly limited across all the major retailers — especially the console's $349.99 Deluxe SKU — an issue which Nintendo of America executive vice president of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt addressed in a recent GamesIndustry.biz interview.

Moffitt explained that demand has indeed been high for the console, particularly for its higher-priced model, which "seems to indicate that the pricing's in a good spot and the proof is in the consumer response." He also added that despite the high demand and seemingly low supply for the console, it's still more than the...

Continue reading…

Nintendo further explains Nintendo Network, Miiverse and Wii U web browser in new video

Nintendo of America offers its own take on the most recent Nintendo Direct hosted by president Satoru Iwata, walking future users of the Wii U through the console's online functions — this time in English.

Nintendo's Bill Trinen focuses on a variety of subjects in the 14-minute video, including the creation of a Nintendo Network ID, a requirement for using the Nintendo eShop, Miiverse, Wii U Chat and Nintendo TVii. Trinen also touches on many of the subjects in the Japanese language Nintendo Direct released last week, including Wii to Wii U data transfer and user account details per...

Editorial: Tennis Without Buttons: Why I'm worried about the Wii U

Five days from the launch of the Wii U and it finally occurred to me that I should pre-order something to play on it.

You could attribute this to my advancing years, it's not a stretch to assume the slow degeneration of my brain tissue allowed me to be caught unawares. But I think it may speak to to bigger problem. There's less than a week until Nov. 18, and I still don't know what I'll be doing with the thing. And I don't think I'm alone.

The explosive, dizzying success of the Wii is attributable to a single moment. In this moment, a non or lapsed gamer watches someone playing tennis...

Continue reading…

'Freaks' and tweaks: ZombiU's winding path to launch

Ubisoft typically puts forth a sizable effort for console launches, but ZombiU is an unexpected find in the Wii U's day-one lineup. While it shares a common naming heritage with the publisher's first-ever release, 1986's Zombi, many at Ubisoft consider it a new intellectual property — which makes it essentially the only major one to debut with the system. Amidst a well-stocked offering of extensions to existing franchises and lightly enhanced ports from other platforms, ZombiU proves an anomaly.

Had you shown it to the developers at Ubisoft Montpellier a year and a half ago, it might...

Continue reading…

Wii U delivers innovation, but can it outshine the Wii?

This weekend the next, next-generation of gaming kicks off with the launch of Nintendo's Wii U console.

The first foray into the next wave of gaming consoles is powered by the Wii U's unique tablet-like GamePad controller, a device that gives gamers a second screen for interacting with their games and even supports some home gaming without a television.

"Just as the Wii ushered in an era of motion controls," Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said in a prepared statement, "we believe second-screen gaming on the GamePad will change everything — it's how you will play next."

T...

Continue reading…

Nintendo's Wii U will not have universal achievements

Nintendo's Wii U will not have a universal achievement system across all its games akin to the Xbox 360's Achievements system or the PlayStation 3's Trophy system, the creative director and co-founder of Scribblenauts development studio 5TH Cell said in a post on NeoGaf.

Posting to the popular video game message board, Jeremiah Slaczka said that the Wii U does not have system-wide accomplishments. Rather, it is up to the developers to decide whether they wish to implement their own system.

"Scribblenauts Unlimited loosely has them in the form of 'Global Starite Shards' which is like a...

Continue reading…

Ubisoft's Wii U plans include Uplay support, selling full retail games on eShop

While Nintendo still hasn't fully detailed the workings of the Wii U's online network and store, speaking with Polygon earlier this week, the president of Ubisoft said his company plans to support both.

The Nintendo Network, first revealed by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata days ago, will support third-party networks.

Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot said that the company's goal is to have their Uplay online service on Wii U sometime after launch.

"We hope to have a good connection with their systems because Nintendo has been very open to us and allowed us to use our systems to...

Continue reading…

Nintendo holding Wii U midnight launch at Nintendo World in New York

Nintendo will mark the Wii U's North American release with a midnight launch at the Nintendo World Store in New York's Rockefeller Plaza, the company announced today.

Running from 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, through midnight on Nov. 18, the event will feature Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's president and chief operating officer, as master of ceremonies: He will welcome Nintendo fans and stick around for the traditional first-customer-in-line photo op.

Nintendo will also be selling New York-themed T-shirts featuring Mario's visage; the company will donate all proceeds from sales...

Continue reading…

Wii U eShop looks to be designed for touchscreen navigation

Touch controls may be the best way to navigate the Wii U's eShop, according to an image of the Japanese version of the digital store on Nintendo's website.

With large panels of content and a left-hand dock for tabs, Nintendo's online store will likely be most easily used on the screen of the console's GamePad, as opposed to the TV itself.

According to Nintendo, the eShop will offer the usual slate of digital content — games, downloadable content and demos. The Wii U eShop will also be integrated with Miiverse, bringing in recommendation ratings for the content available in the store....

Continue reading…

Wii U's internet browser is designed for everyday use, Nintendo says

The Wii U's internet browser has been designed so that users can seamlessly switch between playing a game to looking for something on the internet, the developers of the browser say in the latest Iwata Asks interview.

Speaking to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Munetaka Tsuda and Tetsuya Sasaki from Nintendo's Software Development and Design Department say that when they looked at the Wii U's specs, they had the idea to design a browser that could be used every day and could handle everything users now expect from a browser like the ability to play videos and music, not just show text.

"...

Continue reading…

The rise of tablet gaming is 'undeniable,' says Nintendo

The rise of tablets and smartphone gaming is "undeniable," according to Nintendo's executive vice-president of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt.

Speaking at the BMO 2012 Digital Media Conference today, Moffitt said the growth of tablets is beyond doubt, stating: "It's undeniable the growth of tablets and their ability to play games."

"At the same time when we look at our data," he added, explaining how the success of tablet affects the market for Wii U. "The DS didn't have competition from tablets and smartphones, and yet we are outpacing the rate of sale for the DS. These are seemingly...

Continue reading…

How Wii U and Nintendo Changed Scribblenauts

Like clockwork, as blasts of red and orange signal the arrival of fall, independent developer 5th Cell releases a Scribblenauts game. Series protagonist Maxwell and his magic notebook (where he thinks up objects and uses them to solve puzzles) are becoming holiday staples, even if they don't attract the attention of Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed. 5th Cell has released a Scribblenauts in September or October for the past three years, and there's only one reason the fourth game in the series is coming out a tad later this year, on November 13th: It's a launch title for Nintendo's Wii U.

F...

Continue reading…

Nintendo says the Wii U's Miiverse is an 'empathy network'

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata describes the Wii U's Miiverse – the online gaming community integrated into the Wii U – as an "empathy network" because players who share the same gaming experiences will be able to empathize with one another when they're using the service.

In the latest Iwata Asks interview series, the Nintendo president speaks with the Wii U Miiverse developers Kiyoshi Mizuki of Nintendo's Network Business Department and Junya Kondo of Hatena Co. Ltd. While interviewing the two developers, Iwata says that the Wii U's Miiverse is more than a service that connects...

Continue reading…

Wii U Gamepad potential dead pixels and connectivity issues addressed by manual

The Wii U manual's troubleshooting guide addresses potential issues players may encounter with dead pixels and audio/visual disconnection on the GamePad.

"Due to the characteristics of liquid crystal displays, a small number of pixels may not illuminate or may always stay lit," reads the manual. "This is normal and not considered a defect unless the number of pixels that don't function normally increases over time."

The guide also mentions connectivity issues that may affect sound and video quality on the GamePad.

"The video or sound may cut off at times," it reads. "This is due to the...

Continue reading…

Wii U internet requirements and parental controls detailed in instruction manual

The Wii U's online connection protocols and parental controls are detailed in the console's instruction manual, sent to Polygon today along with the hardware.

Users will need a wireless LAN connection to get the Wii U online. Those without a wireless LAN connection will need to purchase and install a Wii LAN adapter, a port that will connect the Wii U to the Internet via a cable connection.

Parental controls limit the viewing and downloading of certain content on the system, with several options allowing users to customize what content is blocked. When enabled, Parental Controls will...

Continue reading…

Nintendo outlines Wii to Wii U data transfer process

The process for transferring data from a Wii to a Wii U is outlined in the console's instruction manual, which Polygon received today alongside a review unit of Nintendo's new hardware.

The process is somewhat similar to the transfer process between Nintendo's handheld devices, but requires a couple of extra steps. First, users must insert an SD card into the Wii U to initiate the process using the console's Wii System Transfer application. After starting the process, the user must put the same SD card into their Wii, and download another transfer application from the Wii Shop Channel....

Continue reading…

Nintendo-JoySound Wii Karaoke U brings sing-a-longs to Japanese consoles

Nintendo-JoySound Wii Karaoke U will bring built-in karaoke software to the Japanese version of Nintendo's upcoming dual screen console, Nintendo announced today during a Japanese Nintendo Direct livesream.

Nintendo-JoySound Wii Karaoke U will bring a catalog of over 90,000 songs to the Wii U, allowing singers several customization options, including changing the song's tempo and using Mii avatars to display on screen. Though the app will be free and pre-installed on Japanese Wii U consoles, players will have to pay for the time they spend singing, with purchasing options ranging from one...

Continue reading…

New Super Mario Bros. U features explained in nine-minute demo video

New Super Mario Bros. U's touchscreen implementation, multiplayer Coin Battle mode and other features were detailed in a nine-minute video released last night, accompanying the hardware's latest Nintendo Direct presentation.

The video, posted above, runs potential players through everything they can expect from the long-running franchise's next installment. For more traditional players, there's a look at the game's world map, and the Miiverse functionality which lets players comment on their progress for the jealous eyes of their friends. For folks looking for something new, the Coin...

EA: Wii U Origin plans match how the service works on PS3, Xbox 360

Electronic Arts' use of Origin on the Wii U will be similar to how the publisher currently uses their online service for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, officials told Polygon.

Questions about how EA's online Origin service and how it will work on Wii U first popped up last month when the company updated their Privacy Policy to include a paragraph about the new console.

The paragraph reads:

If you sign up to play EA games through a Nintendo Wii U console, your Nintendo account information will be provided to EA so that we can establish an Origin Account for you. You need an Origin...

Continue reading…

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata unboxes the Wii U

North American Nintendo fans will soon be able to get their hands on the Wii U, but none of their unboxing videos will feature Nintendo of Japan president Satoru Iwata — unlike the one released by Nintendo today.

Iwata plays it straight, offering a clinical breakdown of the 32 GB Deluxe Edition box's contents. The Wii U will be available in North America on Nov. 18.

Nintendo details Wii U network ID system

The Wii U's Nintendo Network ID system, the console's alternative to Friend Codes, will support up to 12 users per a console, allow third-party publishers to create their own online networks and require a sizable day-one patch to work, Nintendo president president Satoru Iwata said during an early morning video stream.

What remains unclear, though, is how many Network IDs, which handle friend lists, purchases and online activity, can be assigned to a single console and what role user IDs, which are personalized for each gamer, have in terms of those services.

Wii U owners will first be...

Continue reading…

Top Stories

Latest Video

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker